A number of organisations, networks and foundations provide a wealth of research and expertise that aid decision making within the Broadland Rivers Catchment. You can find some key links below.
Wensum Demonstration Test Catchment (Wensum Alliance)
The Demonstration Test Catchments (DTC) project is a joint Defra, Environment Agency (EA) and Welsh Assembly Government initiative working in three river catchments – the Wensum in Norfolk plus the Eden (Cumbria) and Avon (Hampshire). The overall objective of the project is to provide evidence to test the hypothesis that it is possible to cost effectively reduce the impact of agricultural diffuse water pollution on ecological function while maintaining food security through the implementation of multiple on-farm measures across whole river catchments using local expertise to solve local problems. Further information about the Wensum DTC can be found online. For more information on the overall project visit the DTC website.
Morley Agricultural Foundation
The Morley Agricultural Foundation (TMAF) is a Registered Charity (No. 1097174) which specifically supports farming and agricultural research in the East of England. It was formed in 2003 and inherited its assets from the Morley Research Centre (originally known as The Norfolk Agricultural Station). The need for independent unbiased research does not diminish even with the prospect of fewer acres being farmed and with fewer people employed. New, well proven techniques are needed to enable farmers to cope with new crops, new economic conditions and the implications of extensive new environmental regulation. In particular, TMAF funds research into arable crops and related education project in East Anglia. Currently, The Morley Agricultural Foundation provides funding in two main areas: Research Grants towards projects in agreed areas of arable farming research, and Educational Grants in support of further education studies in approved areas of arable crop production. Further information can be found on the Morley Agricultural Foundation website.
SIP (Sustainable Intensification Research Platform)
The SIP study farm network tests and demonstrates a range of alternative farm management practices (as ‘interventions’) that have the potential to improve the economic, environmental or social performance of farming systems. The five farms cover a range of farming types and regions, focusing on those that represent significant areas of land use across England and Wales, within the Broadland Catchment there is a study site at Morley. The SIP work at the Study Farms builds on existing research activities relevant to SI through: additional interventions, new measurements and analyses, and/or scaling-up evaluation. Each farm has established a baseline from ongoing or new data, enabling the actual or potential economic and environmental impacts and benefits of the alternative practices to be assessed. New data generated will be made freely available through the SIP data archive for future use. The study farms are also a focus for knowledge exchange with farmers, advisers and other stakeholders. This includes involving participants in evaluating the practicality and usefulness of the interventions, and encouraging farmers to consider trying similar approaches themselves. Further information about the project can be found on the SIPS website.
The Anglian Centre for Water Studies (Anglian Water and UEA)
Already one of the driest places in the UK, forecast to have one of the highest level of population growth with an economy highly dependent on agriculture the Anglian Region faces some particular challenges in ensuring a sustainable supply of water into the future. The response to these challenges lies not only in the development of new technologies but in how we understand and mitigate the impacts of climate change on the water available to us and how as a society we value and use water. In collaboration with others the Anglian Centre for Water Studies will work to inform policy and underpin innovation in four core areas:
- The impact of climate change on water resources – leading the application of research to build long-term resilience to changes in weather leading to drought or flooding, and adapt to the increasing demands of a growing population.
- Circular economy and environmental sustainability – how can we prevent pollution and raw water deterioration, making sure it recycles water to the environment effectively and with no waste.
- Customer behaviour – how can research in areas such as behaviour change and economics help reduce the amount of water we use.
- Competition policy – predicting long-term market changes and informing policy.
The Anglian Centre for Water Studies is a partnership between Anglian Water and the University of East Anglia. The Centre seeks to ensure the independent research done by UEA informs business outcomes, policy and research. Further information can be found on the Anglian Centre for Water Studies website.
Agri-Tech East is an independent, business-focussed cluster organisation, to improve the international competitiveness and sustainability of plant-based agriculture and horticulture. It is bringing together farmers and growers with scientists, technologists and entrepreneurs to create a global innovation hub in agri-tech. Further information on the project can be found on the Agri-Tech East website.
SPot Farm East – Elveden (Strategic Potato Farm)
Factual, evidence-based advice, information and activity is core to what we do at AHDB Potatoes. The SPot Farm programme up-scales the research and demonstrates the on-farm implementation of the science from AHDB £1.5m annual R&D investment in a commercial, field-scale environment. Further information can be found on the AHDB website.